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PHOENIX-The nation’s sluggish economy may have deterred some companies from moving into new quarters, but that hasn’t stopped the Northern Corporate Center from filling its office space. The 72,000-sf building at 1600 E. Northern Ave. has gone from having no tenants to 90% occupied in the last 10 months.

“This is the only building I know that has gained 90% occupancy in the past 10 months. It’s done very well,” Jeff Wentworth, vice president for Grubb & Ellis Co.’s office division in Phoenix, tells GlobeSt.com. “Everyone who goes through it really loves it.”

Wentworth credits owners Doug Dragoo and Steve Barger with Northern Corporate Center LLC with turning around the building. Once home to Bank One’s financial division, the building was purchased by the two investors about a year ago for more than $5 million and renovated into office suites.

“The building was really beat up and the new owner came in and basically refurbished the entire property. They took the building back to show condition,” said Wentworth, noting that the property, located near the Route 53 Freeway and 16th Street features a full lobby and courtyard plus a lease rate averaging about $21.50 per sf.

Among the building’s tenants are Health Services Advisory Group, Rockwell Automation, real estate development firms and a semi-conductor company. ProNet, a technical advisory firm, also recently signed a five-year lease for 9,000 sf, leaving 6,000 sf still available for lease, Wentworth said.

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